Release Date: May 19, 2009
Reviewed by Evelyn Miska

Those familiar with CKY may only be so due to the band’s connection with Bam Margera (of Jackass fame). Having provided the soundtracks to numerous skate videos and the like, the band may have a fairly limited audience. However, the good thing is that there’s more to CKY than simply providing music for such particular listeners. On Carver City, CKY proves that they can go beyond simply writing the heavier stuff and is comfortable experimenting with some different sounds.

“Hellions On Parade” is likely exactly what people would expect from such a band. Fairly heavy, lots of intense guitars and some strong drumming but about halfway through the song the band throws in some keyboards that acknowledge some of the music of the 1980s. “And She Never Returned” does something similar with the inclusion of synths at the very end, which makes these songs more than just another vaguely heavy metal song.

Getting the furthest from the heavier sound that the band tends towards is “A #1 Roller Rager.” Although it’s one of the most unusual songs on the album, it also shows the band’s versatility at its greatest. Some may find the song too soft, but the definite 1980s feel mixed with CKY’s own aggression makes for a great track. “Old Carver’s Bones” gets back to the creepier feel that the band may be best known for, and although it is a definite contrast to “#1 Roller Rager,” that very juxtaposition is what makes the two songs so interesting coming back to back.

CKY hasn’t lost their dark edge as they’ve gone from one album to the next, that grim outlook is still very much present on Carver City. However, rather than become so enmeshed in that dark side of things so as to become mired in it, CKY has found a way to mix otherwise seemingly disparate genres. It won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s an interesting approach and well worth checking out.

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